Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Making Felted Beads

You can use plain or Kool-Aid dyed wool to make your own felted beads--then embellish them as you would like. The following directions are for wet felted beads, but if you prefer, you can needle felt them instead.


Supplies:
Small amount of natural or dyed wool roving
Hot water
Soap
Beads for embellishing (optional)

Directions:

1. Tear off a piece of wool about the size of a golf ball. Saturate it with hot water.
2. Start rolling the wool in your hands to form a ball.
3. Add soap and continue to shape the ball.
4. The more you squash and manipulate the wool, the more compact your bead will be.
5. When you are happy with the size of your bead, rinse it and allow it to dry.
6. Use a sharp needle to add embelishments, or needlefelt your finished bead.
7. To use, poke a sharp needle through the bead, and attach as desired.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How to Dye Wool with Kool-Aid


You can easily make your own hand dyed roving or yarn match any color combination you would like, without making a huge investment. Once you know how to dye and shape wool, you can use this technique to enhance jewelry,accessories, dolls, and toys. This dying technique will work on any type of wool or animal fiber, and will be familiar to anyone who has ever dyed Easter eggs!


Supplies:
  • Natural wool roving (non-superwash)
  • Package of Unsweetened Kool-Aid in your preferred color
  • Water
  • White Vinegar
  • Equipment:
  • Measuring cup
  • Large glass microwave safe bowl or baking dish
  • Rubber gloves
  • Plastic wrap
  • Plastic spoon
Directions:
1.    Soak the wool in hot water for 20 minutes so it will accept the dye. Tear it
into smaller pieces before soaking if you want to make different colors. If you are dying yarn, it will need to be in skeins to accept the dye evenly.

2.    Dissolve the Kool-Aid in ¾ cup of water, and stir with plastic spoon. Add ¼
cup vinegar, and stir. You can adjust this for darker or lighter colors by
using more water—or less Kool-Aid.

3.    Remove the wool from the hot water and squeeze out (don’t wring out) as
much water as you can. Place the wool on a piece of plastic wrap.

4.    Slowly pour the Kool-Aid over the wool, until it is saturated. Wrap the
plastic around the wool, and secure with string.

5.    Place in the pyrex container, and microwave for 2 minutes. Check the wool,
and microwave again if needed. You will know the wool is ready when all of
the liquid is colorless—and the wool is tinted. Be careful—it will be very hot.

6.    Remove the fiber from the plastic and rinse.

7. Hang to dry, then use as desired.

Project Notes:
  • You can make several different colors at one time—just use a different piece of plastic wrap for each, and cook them all at the same time.
  • Wear plastic gloves when working on this project—the dye will stick to your hands.
  • Kool-Aid is meant to be consumed, so you can use your regular household items for this project.
  • This technique will work on any animal fiber—but it won’t work on cotton or manmade ones. Wool roving is perfect for this project, but you could also dye yarn or fabric using the same technique.
  • To make the beads shown here, use Kool-Aid in different strengths and colors, then wet felt to form beads.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

We are here!

After a somewhat troublesome drive (flat tire in Orlando!) we have arrived at Bay Lake Towers. Checkin at the Contemporary was fast and easy, and the staff was super nice. The room reminds me of a ship's cabin--everything is designed to stow away neatly, and there is very little wasted space.

The view is great--just outside the window is Space Mountain, and Cinderella's Castle. We are steps from the walkway to the monorail, so getting to the Magic Kingdom should be fast and easy!

First, though, we need to get a peek at the pool--we walked past the water slide on our way to the Tower, and the kids quite approved!

Can't beat the view!

Up next....Day 1 trip report//resort photos!